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Nihonium makes its way into The Periodic Table with 3 other Elements

A day after “nihonium” was announced as the name of atomic element 113, the physicist who led the discovery team said the name was chosen to thank Japanese people for their support

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Kosuke Morita of Riken points to 'nihonium'. Image courtesy: japantimes.co.jp
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  • Four new elements were discovered late last year, in 2015 and have been approved by IUPAC
  • Nihonium is the first element to be discovered in an Asian country
  • The discoverers are provided with an option to name the elements, which is then approved by the IUPAC

It’s time to update the periodic table once again. Scientists all over the world have discovered four new elements in the past year, 2015, all of them being super heavy and radioactive. Their names pend approval by International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, the panel of international scientists responsible for the table.

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Currently, the names of the new elements to be introduced into the periodic table are as follows:

  • Nihonium and symbol Nh, for the element 113
  • Moscovium and symbol Mc, for the element 115
  • Tennessine and symbol Ts, for the element 11
  • Oganesson and symbol Og, for the element 118

These names will be be open to public comments and suggestions for a period of five months after which the they will be finalized in early November this year, in 2016.

Periodic table
The Periodic Table. Image courtesy: Wikimedia commons

The new elements were actually incorporated into the periodic table late last year in 2015 and given these temporary and unremarkable names: ununtrium, ununpentium, ununseptium and ununoctoium.

The IUPAC lets the discoverers choose names of their choice, but they should fall under one of the five categories: they should be based on a mineral or substance, a property of the element, a mythological concept or character, a place or geographic region, or a scientist.

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Moscovium was proposed at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, which is around Moscow. On similar lines, the name Tennessine was to identify scientific contributions from Tennessee, home to the Vanderbilt University, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.

Similarly, Nihonium was discovered by scientists at the RIKEN Nishina Center for Accelerator-Based Science in Japan. It is the first element to be discovered in an Asian country. Nihon is one of two ways to say “Japan” in Japanese.

Oganesson was named to honor the Russian physicist Yuri Oganessian, who did wonders in discovering superheavy elements. Oganessian is the second scientist to have an element named after him while still alive, the first being Nobel-winning Glenn Seaborg, who discovered plutonium among other things. The element was jointly discovered by collaborating teams of Russians in the city of Dubna and Americans at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.

-by Saurabh Bodas, an intern at NewsGram. Twitter: @saurabhbodas96

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Indian Expert Claims that Russia Might help India in Nuclear Medicine

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Nuclear power must be developed.
Vladimir Putin and Narendra Modi in a conversation. Wikimedia Commons.

Given the current high costs of making radioisotopes used in nuclear medicine, there is considerable scope of collaboration between India and Russia for their manufacture at affordable cost, according to an Indian expert.

Chandigarh-based Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) Professor Baljinder Singh told IANS here on the sidelines of the just-concluded 10th Atomexpo organised by Russian state nuclear energy corporation Rosatom that such cooperation has become essential in view of the global shortage of molybdenum, isotopes of which are used in tens of millions of medical diagnostic procedures annually.

The molybdenum isotope 99mTc, for instance, is the most commonly used medical radioisotope worldwide.

“The molybdenum daughter radionuclide 99mTc is used the world over for imaging on gamma cameras,” Singh said.

“Most nuclear reactors have molybdenum as a by-product — there is a shortage of which globally.”

Singh, who is a jury member at the Atomexpo2018 for selecting the best research projects in the category “Nuclear Technologies for better Healthcare”, pointed out that as a leader in civilian nuclear technology, India is among a few countries making “significant” efforts to produce radioisotopes.

“India has made significant strides in this direction and the task of developing Linear Accelerator (LINAC) technology has been undertaken by Sameer (Society of Applied Microwave Electronics and Engineering and Research) located in IIT Mumbai,” he said.

“It is a Rs 100-crore project being funded by the Telecommunications Ministry. Apart from India, Canada and Russia are the only other countries undertaking advanced level research in this area.”

According to him, in view of the importance of nuclear medicine in early detection of cancer and the recent emergence of new radionuclides for effective treatment, an effort is needed in India to provide these at an affordable cost.

Partnering with a foreign institute having nuclear facility for production of medically useful radioisotopes, and radiochemistry training are required urgently as we have no such course in the country as yet," he said.
The two dignitaries sharing a light moment. Wikimedia Commons.

“Developed countries like the US and Japan have about four PET (positron emission tomography) scanners per million population followed by Europe at 2, and Australia at 1.6 per million. India scores very low with 0.1 PET scanners per million population,” Singh said.

“To have a reasonable ratio of 1 PET scanner per million population over the next ten years, India needs about 1,400 PET scanners and an equal number of gamma cameras.”

Read also: Merkel Told Putin, US Complicated Middle East Situation

He suggested that through tie-ups with Russia, India could arrange to be supplied with such imaging equipment at affordable cost.

Singh’s wish list at this Black Sea resort includes a collaboration with Russia in human capacity building in this area.

“We urgently require international collaboration on radiopharmacy training, as there is no such facility in India.”

Partnering with a foreign institute having nuclear facility for production of medically useful radioisotopes, and radiochemistry training are required urgently as we have no such course in the country as yet,” he said.

“Panjab University, Chandigarh, has taken a lead in starting an M.Sc Nuclear Medicine programme in 2007, jointly with PGIMER.”

Singh is hoping that his agenda would figure in the summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin scheduled to take place here next week. IANS.